Rules by Lord Cynthia

Rules by Lord Cynthia

Author:Lord, Cynthia [Lord, Cynthia]
Language: eng
Format: azw3, epub, mobi
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Published: 2013-09-23T16:00:00+00:00

As Mom reads, I sketch the scene: Harry sneaking down the hallway on a midnight search. I practice drawing perspective, angling the lines of the corridor narrower with each door to pass.

I imagine David turning the doorknobs, needing to know what’s on the other side. Not even realizing the walls are squeezing in, tighter and tighter, the farther he walks.

I flip my page to save him.

Beside me, my word cards sit upside down on the waiting room couch, a tiny white pile. At home I felt ready to share these words, but what if Jason tells me I’m being selfish to feel bad for me when David — and he — has it worse?

“And how much for shipping?” the receptionist asks, the phone to her ear. “Is there any discount if we buy two boxes?”

I yank the zipper open on my backpack to find a blank card. Maybe I have time to make new words before Jason gets here.

“That does seem a lot for one box of hearing-aid batteries,” the receptionist says.

I lay a card on my sketchbook, but before I can choose a word, Carol rushes through the clinic doorway, her baby balanced on her hip. “And there was such a line of traffic on the bridge!” she says over Jason’s head to Mrs. Morehouse, behind her. “Figures they’d have to raise it for a ship on the day I’m already late.”

Excuse. I write the word, quick as I can.

“That’s always the way, isn’t it?” Mrs. Morehouse pushes Jason’s chair across the carpet toward me, and Mom picks up her bookmark, leaving Harry still searching in the hallway.

Jason smiles, his hair curling along his forehead and above his ears, no longer dangling past his eyebrows.

“Your haircut looks good.” I slide my words pile under my leg.

Too. Short. He nods toward the card in my lap. What? Word.

I frown, sliding Excuse. into an empty pocket of his communication book. With no picture, the card looks rushed and cheap. My fingers itch to pull it out again. “I’m sorry,” I say. “The rest of the words I brought aren’t good words.”

Want. Bad. Words.

“Not that kind of bad,” I say, a grin sneaking out. “I mean I was upset when I wrote them. Maybe I could make double for next week?”

He shakes his head. Want. Those. Words.

I glance to Mom, but she doesn’t look up from her magazine.

“And how soon can I expect delivery?” the receptionist asks into the phone. “Maine.”

Jason stares at me, touching an empty pocket in his book, his finger tapping a soft drumbeat.

I pull a card from under my leg. Not even looking at what it is, I reach across and slide the word into a pocket of Jason’s communication book. Murky.

What? Drawing. Murky.

“What did I draw for murky?” I ask. He nods.

“I wrote that word for a feeling,” I say. “But a feeling isn’t always drawable, so I drew the pond where I go swimming. There’s a raft, and we dare each other to jump off and touch bottom.


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